Dear Friend,

Exhibition in Hannover
Exhibition in Hannover

Our latest Newsletter came out in July, but news are rushing and we have to share them before they get too old. Here are some recent things we wanted you to read about and see:

First: We are SO HAPPY to spread the word about Exhibition of our friend Todor Mitrovic and his exstudent Nicola Saric in Hannover! It opened 25th of August and will be on till the 30th of November 2017. Some information can be see on the church web-site http://gartenkirche.de/ and on a flyer http://www.gartenkirche.de/dms/kg_gartenkirche_hannover/Einladung-zur-Ausstellung/Einladung%20zur%20Ausstellung.pdf?1502302317

Todor has prepared 6 diptychs of the Mother of God and Exodus, Nikola has other subjects. Unfortunately there are no photos from the opening, which gathered 100 people. But we can see the icons the way they are distributed in the church space, which we think is good: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157685959701174

Iconography workshop in New Zeland
Iconography workshop in New Zeland


It’s been a long time since we first were asked about an iconography workshop in New Zealand, and here it is! It will take place in Auckland, starting the 5th and ending the 9th of January 2018. We plan to paint an icon of Christ, taking a 13th century image from Mount Sinai as our model.

For those, who live in New Zealand, and have already signed up for our workshop(s) in Melbourne. – I don’t mind you shifting to the newer group, but please, do it in the nearest days since the group is filling up quickly, – we have only 5 spots left.

Visual Literacy
Visual Literacy

We have started a new project, – series of Visual Literacy video-lectures on YouTube. The first one is short (only 3’22): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2myJN-yQVPo, but hope it can be a good addition to our workshops, available to everyone. Next one is planned to be about Integrity… What do you think should be other urgent topics?

Looking forward to see your comments, likes and dislikes as well :).

Medieval Reliefs
Medieval Reliefs

This time we have no new icons to share, therefore we publish 74 medieval images. These are carved wooden sculptures from Novgorod Museum and Magdeburg bronze doors, which for many centuries work for Saint Sophia cathedral in Novgorod (Russia).

All our students and friends, especially those, who come to our Melbourne workshops, are invited to participate our 3rd exhibition “Visions of Beauty 2018” in ACU Gallery Space. The installation should begin on Saturday the 13th of January about midday. We can not guarantee, that all the works will be accepted, but larger ones are preferable.

More news in the next Issue!
With warmest regards,

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

July 2017

Dear Friend,

First of all, – THANK YOU for your interest to our work and for your time. We love our work and we are grateful for your support! These two months were full of good things and we are glad we can share them with you.

  1. Icon Drawing Workshop in Holy Cross Monastery in West park NY
    Icon Drawing Workshop in Holy Cross Monastery in West park NY

    We have recently had three workshops. Two Advanced ones in Saint Mary’s University (Calgary, Canada), and Gage Academy of Arts (Seattle WA). where we painted icon of Saint John the Baptist  and a Drawing one, where we draw 3.5 days with pencils and brushes. (See the photos: http://sacredmurals.com/…icon_painting_courses_usa_canada_2017 )
    It was a great time, – lots of challenges and, hope, even more discoveries. From the other hand, even though it seems to us, that all the three workshops went well, I feel that when next time we happen to teach one in the Holy Cross Monastery, we should better connect our workshop with worship. And it is not only about adjusting our time to the schedule of services, it’s much wider – about icons “working” in liturgical space, – both theory and practice.
    We have already started thinking about the next year workshop in Holy Cross, but I think we will only be able to launch it in October.

  2. General Icon Painting Workshop
    General Icon Painting Workshop model

    It’s only July, but both our January Icon Drawing Workshops in Melbourne are filled up or almost filled up. We talked to the ACU and decided to launch one more, this time more universal, – like we did in the past. We called it “General Icon Painting Workshop” intending to say it’s about painting an icon from scratch to the end, going through all sorts of activities we used go to in our daily work. Planning it we mostly thought of potential students, who’d never attended our workshops before, so they could catch up and grab their piece of experience.

    And – an important notice, – if you have already signed up for any of previously announced workshops and want to switch to a new one, please, let us know in the nearest time, before it is filled up.

  3. At our latest workshops I was asked many times about our Sources of Pigments, so instead of spelling the links I have promised to list of our suppliers and our favourite colors in current Newsletter. Each of them has some wonderful colors, so the order is just alphabetical and I hope we may continue investigations and share some more in the future.I. Agulis, – armenian colors, sparsely sold in Saint Petersburg. We ordered some their pigments last year, – you can read about our experience in our latest Christmas Newsletter. Our favourite color in their palette is:Violet Light (here is example of this color, used for background: ..annunciation.html)II. Poggi – an italian company with 2 stores in Rome and as we talked to them some years ago, they said they could ship internationally. The prices are also given in euros per kilo, so, it might have a sense to order a package to share, since pigments are nice and finely grinded.Our favourite ones  by now are:
    Terra Verde Antica (which now I don’t see at their website)
    Rosso Pozzuoli
    Rosso Veneto
    Giallo MargheritaIII. Kremer we buy in Saint Petersburg, also in kilos and the favourites are:
    Green UmberII. Zecchi is also sold in Saint Petersburg, we have many things, but really use few:
    Coral Powder (see background as an example: (crucifix_2013.html )
    Verdaccio Chiaro
    Verdaccio Scuro
    Herculanum red
    Green Umber
    Raw UmberPigments with different or unidentifiable sources :
    1. Titanium White
    2. Shunghite
    3. Ocra Roma (Light Yellow Ochre)
    4. Golden OchreAnd hopefully there are more to come…
  4. Eight of our latest icons:
    Icon of Christ the King
    Icon of Christ the King by Philip Davydov
    Icon of Christ on red background
    Icon of Christ on red background by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of Christ 2017 by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of Christ 2017 by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of Holy Mandylion by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of Holy Mandylion by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of John the Baptist by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of John the Baptist by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of Saint Anastasia by OLga Shalamova
    Icon of Saint Anastasia by OLga Shalamova
    Icon of the Mother of God Nicopea by Olga Shalamova
    Icon of the Mother of God Nicopea by Olga Shalamova

    Icon for St. Leonid church in Il'ichevo by Philip Davydov
    Icon for St. Leonid church in Il’ichevo by Philip Davydov
  5. Working with New Media, – our Youtube channel is slowly growing…  Here is the latest addition – a better version of Video, dedicated to varnishing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vcucGcwaoA. Please, leave your comments, – it’s a beginner’s experiment, any constructive critique is appreciated. Within a couple of months from now we think of making some more of this kind, and we will take into account every consideration.

    Video: Varnishing the egg tempera
    Video: Varnishing the egg tempera

    Another video to share, – our Australian friend Sister of Mercy Margaret Broadbent was interviewed almost two months ago: https://vimeo.com/218884778.

    margaretInterview with iconographer Margaret Broadbent
    margaretInterview with iconographer Margaret Broadbent

    And third one is an audio interview with a gentlema, producing pigments:  http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-david-coles/8595382

  6. At our latest workshops I spoke about variety of ways reality can be rendered to become natural part of an image. Here is a good example of how one can study the garments : https://www.flickr.com/…
  7. And last but not least, – Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg has recently published their collection of icons in hight resolution, – enjoy!  http://rusmuseumvrm.ru/collections/iconography/index.php?lang=en***
    With warmest regard,
    Philip (and Olga)

Tons of Models + Workshops

Dear Friend,

Thank you for being our subscriber! We value your time and do our best to publish only most essential news and valuable information.  This time we are happy to share some archives of models for icons, finally launch our workshops in Melbourne and publish two icons by Olga Shalamova.

  1. It’s always a great pleasure to share good things and we decided to start sharing our models for icons: http://sacredmurals.com/more_images/_icons_from_mount_sinai.html . Largest number of icons was downloaded by our friend from Princeton University website: http://vrc.princeton.edu/sinai/, but there are also other albums as well. And the new feature is following, – you don’t have to click hundreds of images one-by-one, you can download entire archives and unzip them directly on your computer. Check the menu on the left side from the thumbnails and on the right side from the images, – hope you enjoy it.By the way, – always forget to mention! – All large size album images on our website are clickable, – image works like “NEXT” button when you click it.


  2. It’s been an intense time here and it’s only now we are launching our program for our workshops in Melbourne! Sorry for being late, but this time the task seemed so hard, – we wanted to produce a brand new series of workshops, dedicated to drawing and we made it!
    Iconography Workshop models to learn iconography drawing
    Iconography Drawing Workshop Models

    The first workshop practically is made entirely to train drawing, from point of view of theory it will include a series of brand new lectures. The second one is more focused and made for more advanced level students. We also do lots of drawing (mostly different types of garments), but at the end we should come out with a drawings of different half figures and one almost finished image of Saint Anastasia. Please click here  to see the details and descriptions >>


  3. A little Icon of Christ
    A little Icon of Christ

    It’s a shame have so few new images, but that’s how it is. Researching for new means and ways is a hard and exhausting work, it takes time and efforts, but it keeps us alive and helps moving forward! This time we only can share two icons by Olga, hoping that more images to come in June.

    This Last Supper took more then 2 months to complete. As additional note – the one, which we published in previous Newsletter functioned as one of the sketches for this one, and I think it worked well 🙂 Board size is 56 X 99 cm (about 23 X 40 inches), and it’s done in egg tempera.

    Icon the Last Suppet
    Icon the Last Suppet


  4. The last but not least, – sometimes we all need promotion! So, we are happy to promote our friend’s work and this time it’s father Justin Mcdonnell, who makes  icon boards in Melbourne (Australia). Here he comes:**********
    Traditional gessoed icon boards

    “Fr Justin McDonnell-based in Melbourne, Australia.
    “Constructed from best quality sustainably/ethically sourced local  timbers. All joinery is done by hand using solid timber. Flat or kovcheg, with support struts in the back of the board as required. Boards can be of any size, large or small. Fr Justin is a fully qualified cabinet maker and has worked in a variety of timer related areas-furniture making, wood carving, and is a qualified pipe organ builder. He and his wife, Pani Matushka Lydia, are both dedicated to manufacturing and supplying icon boards of the finest quality to our local iconographic community. We use locally grown timbers and have tried to adapt this ancient craft to the unique conditions present in Australia. We would be very glad to receive your enquiry for any icon board requirements”.


    Thank you again for your time and please let us know if you have any questions or comments!

    With war,est regards,
    Philip and Olga

February 2017

In this Newsletter:

  • Photos from icon painting workshops in Melbourne
  • Icon workshop(s)
  • Exhibition “From the Star till the Water”
  • New icons

Dear Friends,

The first word of this newsletter we want to be the word Gratitude!

Though we often wished to say it before, somehow yet there was no special occasion. Now we think it can be a good time. Looking back at our 10 years of workshops in Melbourne and even more in the US, we are happy to say how grateful we are to God, to our friends and relatives. We feel that in these years we had been immensely blessed, helped and inspired, our work – valued.

I know, I should list the names, but it would need many pages and simple listing of course would not be enough… We thank you all very much and wish that this coming year (and many more to come) will bring you the peace, joy and blessings in Christ.

Now we are back home-sweet-home, and thanks to Margaret Broadbent (see the photograph) we had a great cultural program in Sydney and feel very much rested… Time to stir paint for new sketches, time to bring together all we have seen and experienced lately.


Photographs from our last workshops (and exhibition) in ACU can be found on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157677715164470.

NEXT ONES are planned for June 2017 (Seattle and Calgary, – filling up). In addition to them we announce our traditional workshop in Wesley Seminary (Washington DC, USA).
Though yet it’s not sure, but we may as well have one more workshop in the UK, but this should be happening in the second half of the year, – it’s just a “maybe” for now. And to conclude this listing, it’s good to say, – we always look forward to hear your critique, questions, comments or proposals, hoping that our educational methods and principles may be considered as an open system, changeable and upgradable.

EXHIBITION “From the Star till the Water” 

With most grateful feelings about the Moscow exhibition “Gifts”, where traditional icons were placed next to contemporary Christian artworks, I decided to share a local one. We only visited it because this Exhibition Center is very close to our home.  The exhibition was open for the period between feast of the Nativity of Christ and the Epiphany – 24th of December 2016 till 29th of January 2017. We especially enjoyed some of the objects and images and happily share them with you on Flickr too:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157676464356904


As always few ones finished:

Graphic image Prophet Isaiah, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Graphic image Prophet Isaiah, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Graphic image Prophet Micah, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Graphic image Prophet Micah, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Saint Irina, 2016 by Philip Davydov
Icon of Saint Irina, 2016 by Philip Davydov
Icon of Our Lady with Christ Child for Marist Brothers, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Our Lady with Christ Child for Marist Brothers, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Christ, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Christ, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Saint John the Baptist, 2016 by Olga Shalamova
Icon of Saint John the Baptist, 2016 by Olga Shalamova

And hopefully more to come!

One more time we thank you very much for being with us!

With warmest regards,

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova


P.S. For those, who like to travel, here is a number of opportunities from our friend fr. Ilia Gotlinsky:


The one, he especially loves is this one, which will include a visit to our studio:

The “Russian Icon” tour

The history of Russian Sacred Art and Architecture through Millennia July 10 – 30, 2017 The “Russian Icon” tour is the first comprehensive study tour that along with all of the major collections of Russian Icons will include many less famous, generally overlooked, but yet very important monuments and collections of the Russian Medieval Sacred Art. The itinerary includes visits to Moscow, most cities of the Golden Ring, Vologda, Ferapontovo, St. Petersburg, Novgorod and Pskov. Travelers will get a real in depth course not only on the History of Russian Sacred Art and Architecture, but also on the History of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian State. Another benefit of this trip is the fact that we will work directly with museum staff and clergy along the way. With many of them we have longstanding and personal friendship that enables us to see and to do learn about the things that usually remain behind the closed doors.
Link to the program: http://orthodoxtours.com/july-10-30-2017-russian-icon-history-russian-sacred-art-architecture-millennia/

Detailed itinerary available upon request.